From: Paul Schaefer, ENN
Published September 10, 2007 06:03 PM

PVC-free Baby Products - Some Companies Are Far Ahead

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Some US product makers saw the writing on the wall years ago and started taking suspected toxins like PVC's out of their baby products long before it was vogue or in the headlines or lawmakers ordered them to.

With the China toy crisis on parent's minds, Becky Cannon, the president of a North Carolina company that makes non-toxic children's products called "i-play.", advises that being proactive is better than being reactive: "Awareness of the dangers of PVC to children is new in the US. In 2002, we began distributing our products in Japan and Europe and changed our manufacturing processes to meet their safety standards, which are more stringent than in the US. We researched PVC and decided to make all of our products PVC free because of the potential harmful effects," said Cannon. She believes it's the responsibility of the manufacturer to set the standards with contractors and monitor those standards.

In the US, PVC is commonly used in the production of waterproof baby products such as bibs, teething devices, and toys. It is a rigid plastic made with bisphenol A and phthalates as softeners for pliability. Elements such as lead, cadmium, and organotins are used as stabilizers. These additives have been linked to endocrine (hormone) disruption and some types of cancer. Chemicals leach from the plastic when it is sucked or chewed for any length of time and can be ingested. Because babies and children are at delicate points of development, ingesting these products can cause potential serious damage.

Cannon says she's been an advocate of the organic movement before organics came into vogue and i play.. Her company also offers a new line of organic cotton baby wear and accessories.

i play products can be found at most specialty children's stores as well as online retailers and many Whole Foods stores.


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